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WordPress

April 13, 2017

How to log in to WordPress/UO Blogs sites

Purpose

This article will guide users through the process of logging in to their UO Blogs-based WordPress sites.

Process

There are two primary methods for logging on to your site:

Method one

Click the Log In link on the upper-left of the browser window

Sign in using your Duck ID and password by clicking on the Use My Duck ID button

Then, you will arrive at the Dashboard for your site(s)

Note: You may have to click on View My Sites if you have access to multiple sites (as seen below)

Method two

Similar to Method one above, this will give you access to your site but through the UO Blogs main website. Go to blogs.uoregon.edu/ then click on the Login tab:

 

Then continue to proceed through the steps of Method one as described above.

Once logged in, you’ll see the administrative toolbar above the site header which will allow you to add more content or return to the site dashboard (as in the image below for CASIT Blog administrators).

May 18, 2016

Slides in the CAS Department Theme

Purpose

This article is to guide users of the CAS Department Theme in UO Blogs through the process of creating a slide on the home page of their department website. Slides are customized posts that consist of an image and an associated post tagged to the image’s caption. Follow the process below to create a slide.

Requirements

This process is specifically for CAS Department Theme users. The theme is available for any campus entity to use but it is not available in the Appearance > Themes menu option. If you are interested in using the theme, submit your UO Blogs URL in a ticket to the Information Services Tech Desk and they will apply it. After having the theme installed and you decide to change your theme, you must submit another ticket to have it reapplied.

For those who would like to see the theme and its features before proceeding, check out the CAS Design Toolkit here.

How to have Slides work properly

Slides are customized posts that must have three elements in order to work properly:

  1. title for the slide.
  2. A Featured image of 890×400 pixels (in order to fit the slide space precisely)
  3. A Custom field with a URL value (in order for the caption box to show up)
    • The URL of a post/page/external link must be placed in the Custom Field box (below the Excerpt section; see below)

Another option is suggested in order to keep the caption box at a reasonable size:

  • A summary of the post body content in the Excerpt field.

Process

The image below shows the different components of a slide post.

Guide to making Slides

  • Required elements (in the solid rectangles above):
    • Title: This will be in a larger heading in the Slide caption than the Body or Excerpt.
    • Body: Text of the caption. Try not to exceed two sentences.
    • Custom Field: Add the URL type name and address of the reference post. Caption will not show up otherwise.
      • Note: The reference URL may be the slide itself or another post/page within the site.
    • Featured Image: must be 890×400 pixels in order to fit precisely.
      • Note: If the image is in the Body section instead, the slide will appear as a broken image.
  • Optional element (in the dashed rectangle above):
    • Excerpt: Text of the caption; usually a summary of the image reference it will override the Body section. It is useful when the Body section becomes large–more than two sentences (optional).

Click Publish to save the slide and publish it to the site.

The example below will show how all of the pieces are then put together:

Slide Example

Additional Considerations

Any updates to Slides may take up to five minutes to fully appear on your site due to the nature of the UO Blogs service.

Since Slides act like posts, they are subject to the same behavior as posts regarding visibility on the site. Slides however will only show up in above or below the site header on the home page of your site. Slides can be saved and published either as Draft or Private status if desired–just change the status of the Slide either in the Slide editor > Publish area or in the all Slides view.

Links to Additional Content

For more information on WordPress within CASIT and UO Blogs, check out either our Help Articles or Training sections. Please feel free to send a ticket or contact us by phone (x6-2388) if you have any other questions.

November 3, 2015

Creating a private wiki using UO Blogs

Purpose

This post is a guide to creating a private wiki page using UO Blogs. The setup is similar to setting up a course blog but with a few different settings and parameters. Click on any of the headings below for each step.

Setting Up A Private Blog Site

Go to blogs.uoregon.edu and log in with your DuckID and password then click on Create A New Site to proceed.

Give your page a name and title then select the preferred visibility level.

WPVisibilitySettings

You can only add users that have logged into UO blogs once or you can bulk import the users using this link: https://it.uoregon.edu/node/2977

Wiki-type features in UO Blogs

Once the site is setup, users can interact with the site in several different ways that resemble a wiki site. Click on one of the links below for more information.

Posting Content

WordPress allows users to add various types of content like text, images and videos, and external links. Posts and pages are used for organizing content into two different structures: website structure with menus and a blog structure which posts the most recent content first.

Adding content via Pages

Pages in WordPress act as a structural backbone for a site that allows for navigation with menus. Pages exhibit content that does not change much over time (e.g., like an About page or mission statement for a site) and display post categories and media content.

Adding content via Posts

Posts are content vehicles that allow users to publish information with a timestamp. Within WordPress, pages that use posts generally organize posts by the publish date and time and in reverse chronological order (newest post on top). Posts are useful when you are providing regular updates on upcoming events or making multiple entries in the same theme (like this particular post).

Posts can be organized using tags and categories. Tags assist site-wide searches and categories organize posts into a page or a tile. (See Organizing Content for more information.)

Adding media and forms to Pages/Posts

Media of various kinds (images, videos, documents, etc.) can be added to both pages and posts via the page/post editor. The Formidable and the Add Document icons are available via the Plugins menu.

WPAddMediaPluginButtons

Organizing Content

Organizing Pages with Menus

Menus allow for pages, categories, and external links to be organized into thematic lists that link to the content of your site. Each theme supports a fixed number of menus but additional menus may be added using widgets.

Organizing Posts with Categories

Categories are used to associate posts under a common theme (e.g., frequently asked questions, project updates) and showcase them on a category page in reverse chronological order.

In the CAS Department theme, categories can be highlighted using Tiles on the front page of your site which shows the most recent post. Click here for more information.

Offering site subscriptions

WordPress offers a widget called Subscribe By Email for readers to receive notifications when a new post is published. The widget can be activated by going to Appearance > Widgets menu and selecting Subscribe By Email: drag and drop the widget into the desired area.

Posting Comments to Site Content

Comments appear for each post and page if the site administrator decides to allow discussion on the site. Go to the Settings > Discussion page for more information or view the image below. Article comments, additional comment settings, and notification settings for your site can be set on this page.

WPDiscussionSettingsExample

Links to Additional Content

CASIT Training has designed more help articles on various subjects and offer training opportunities to learn this and other software in a classroom setting or one-on-one.

Click here to see more software documentation and guides.

Click here to see available training sessions.

September 11, 2015

WordPress File Security

Purpose

This article is designed to guide WordPress users through a couple specific methods to ensure greater security for files stored within WordPress sites (like those with sites using UO Blogs).

The way that UO Department sites are set up, they are published publicly to allow for being found by various web search engines. Files and media are stored using distinct URLs and as long as someone has the address, the files and media can be accessible.

There are, however, methods to mitigate some potential security issues. Follow one of the methods below for greater security. Follow the steps below to proceed.

Setting up a PDF with a password

When a PDF file is created, the author can set viewing permissions for the file. To set those permissions, click on Tools > Protection. From here, click on Encrypt.

PDFSecurity1

Then select Encrypt with Password from the drop-down menu.

PDFSecurity1a

NOTE: You may be asked whether or not you want to proceed, click Yes to proceed.

Now, be sure to click the checkbox to Require a password to open the document then put in a password to open the document.

 

PDFSecurity2

Click OK to proceed.

NOTE: The password protection will not take place until the document is saved.

Privately Published Pages and Posts

When creating a new page or post within WordPress, users can set the visibility as to restrict access. Prior to publishing the new content, the user will select Private or Password Protected from the Visibility menu from within the Publishing menu. Then click OK.

NOTE: If a page or post has already been published and if the site is public (as all department pages are), then it will be indexed by Google (and other web crawlers) and will therefore be publicly searchable whether or not if the page is made private after the publication date.

In short, if the user would like to have the page or post made private or protected by a password without being found by a search engine, copy and paste the content into a new page or post and set to private before publishing.

June 12, 2015

Creating Forms with Formidable Pro

Purpose

This post is using Formidable Pro, a plugin for WordPress that allows site managers to create forms for various needs. Some examples include sign-up sheets for events or avenues to receive feedback among many other options.

Click one of the options below to proceed:

Activating Formidable

Formidable Pro is a WordPress plugin that allows site administrators to create forms for gathering various data. To activate Formidable, select the Plugins option from the Dashboard menu, scroll down until you find Formidable Forms, then press Activate. Formidable will then appear below your Pages option on your Dashboard menu.

Create A Form

Once Formidable has been activated, you can start creating forms. Formidable will show up in the Dashboard Panel. To get started highlight the Formidable option and select Forms then click Add New.

When adding a new form, Formidable will allow you the option to either create a form from an existing template or one from scratch.

Once you have you have made your decision, you will be directed to the Build menu of the form which will allow you to add form fields or tweak what is existing. The images below are for if you selected Blank Form but the behavior of the menu works in any form.

  • Note: If form fields and/or their descriptions need to be edited, go to the Build menu.
  1. Make sure that you are on the Build menu
  2. Name your form or edit the existing title if you choose
  3. Click the parenthetical statement to explain the purpose of the form and/or instructions on how the form is to be filled out.

You will be given a range of options to choose from regarding types of form fields. Click and drag the form field into place…

… each of which have descriptions and settings that can be edited.

  1. Select the asterisk if you want this form field to be a required field
  2. Provide a title for your form field or edit the existing title if you choose.
  3. Provide instructions as to how to fill out this form field (optional but recommended).
  4. Field Options Menu (for adding additional properties like Custom CSS Layouts)

Edit Custom CSS Layouts / Form Page Layouts

Once all of your form fields and descriptions have been added, you can readjust the layout of the form by clicking on the Field Options Menu. In so doing, there are several options to choose from. The main focus of this section is adjusting the page layout and particular settings within each form field.

  • Note: Each form field will have its own options, the example below and corresponding descriptions are of options in every form field.

Here are descriptions of each option shown above:

CSS layout classes: This is for adding CSS script to determine where a particular field will be located on the overall form. If left blank, Formidable will have list the form fields vertically one after another. To make modifications, you do not need CSS knowledge but there are a few considerations to make.

The examples below are the options you can choose from and a template of some of the the CSS classes.

  • Note: The CSS Layout Classes below can be added only when the CSS layout classes field is highlighted. It will be inactive (grayed out) at any other time.

   

Label Position: Assigns the position form field label. The default setting will have the label aligned to the left edge of the form field.

Field Size: This option imposes limits on the length and the amount of characters (rows, columns, etc.) of the form field.

  • Note: The field size parameters are specific to each form field type.

Visibility: If user roles are enabled on your site, this option can restrict who sees this form.

Conditional Logic: Certain form fields can be made visible after conditions have been met.

Validation: If the form field is dependent upon certain conditions (like Phone Number or Email Address), this option allows you to edit the response if the correct conditions are not met.

Form Settings

Click the Settings option. Under General menu:

There are several settings that can be changed quickly and easily however several of them are dependent upon other actions within your site.

  • Aside from the Action After Form Submission option, all settings are going to be dependent on whether site user accounts are enabled and advanced coding (using AJAX)
  • You can also choose what form respondents will receive as a confirmation as well as being notified of new entries. See Responses sent to an email / Linking to RT.
  • Additionally, the form can be restricted to Logged-In Users. If selected, the form will require a DuckID and password to be seen. Users can allow form respondents to edit responses and restrict to one form submission.

Under the Form Actions option, you can choose who is notified of a form submission and how the message appears to that person.

formidableformactions

To set up email notifications, click on the Form Actions option within the Settings for your form and select the envelope icon for an email notification (seen below).

formidableformactionsemail

  1. The email notification box.
  2. Label for the notification.
  3. The desired email address to receive the notification
  4. Subject line and message
    1. The number code in brackets is corresponding to a form field entry (which are on the right-hand side of the form action)
    2. The default message is for all entries into the form.
  5. Conditional logic may be applied to this notification depending on the nature of the form.

Adding a form to a web page

Formidable utilizes shortcodes that can be inserted into posts or pages. Shortcodes may be found either in the Build or Settings section of a given form. It will be in a set of brackets (e.g., Please select a valid form) and located in the upper-right hand corner of either page.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-1-51-32-pm

Links to Additional Content

For other help articles from CASIT, click here.

May 29, 2015

Setting Up Formidable Pro

Purpose

This post is designed to guide WordPress/UO Blogs user through setting up Formidable — a plugin for WordPress that allows site managers to create forms for various needs. Some examples include sign-up sheets for events or avenues to receive feedback among many other options.

Enable Formidable Pro for your site

Note: Formidable Pro is a plugin that is part of the UO Blogs offering to all associated with the University by using your DuckID. If you do not yet have a UO Blogs site, follow this link.

Login to your UO Blogs account using your DuckID and password, then go the site’s Dashboard

  • Example of your site: blogs.uoregon.edu/”yourname”/wp-admin
    • “yourname” is your user name used when signing up for a site.

Note: Some users may have multiple sites through UO Blogs. If so, you will be directed to a general Dashboard upon sign-in. You will then need to select which site you would like to directly edit.

  • My Sites (marked in red): Allows the user to go to all sites in their purview
  • Blog Name (marked in green): Shows which Dashboard you are in. The example below is in Mike’s Blog.

WP Dashboard with multiple sites

Once in the Dashboard, go to the Plugins menu:

WP Plugins

Once in the Plugins menu, scroll down to Formidable, select Activate:

Formidable Activation Link

 

September 6, 2012

Tour of WordPress

Basic topics

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system used to manage web sites. It is open source and free to use on your own web server or through hosted servers like blogs.uoregon.edu.

It currently is running behind many CAS department and program websites.

  • WordPress.org – Home of WordPress. Best place for documentation and forums for WordPress.
    • WordPress is installed on a web server and managed entirely through the web browser.
  • Logging into WordPress: To login add wp-admin to end of your site’s URL.
    • e.g. https://cas.uoregon.edu/wp-admin
  • Dashboard is the tool that you will be using to manage your site’s content. It is only available after you have logged in.

WordPress on campus

  • UO Blogs: UO Blogs is an easy-to-use academic blogging and web publishing service for the University of Oregon community.
    • Faculty, staff, and students with an active DuckID can use the service to quickly create blogs or websites for courses, groups, or individual use.
    • Special rules apply for course sites, and for personal sites versus sites of official UO departments or programs. Read the UO Blogs page for more information.
  • CASIT Web Services: CASIT Web Services provides web site design and development and web application development for departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Content Terminology and Definitions

  • Posts vs. Pages: In WordPress, you can write either posts or pages.
    • When you’re writing a regular blog entry, you write a post.
      • Posts automatically appear in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page.
    • Pages are for content such as “About,” “Contact,” etc.
      • Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and are often used to present timeless information about yourself or your site — information that is always applicable.
  • Editor: WordPress is bundled with the open source HTML What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor TinyMCE.
  • Categories allow the classification of your posts into groups and subgroups, thereby aiding viewers in the navigation and use of your site.
    • Every post in WordPress is filed under one or more categories.
  • Tags are the keywords you might assign to each Post. Not to be confused with Categories, Tags have no hierarchy, meaning there’s no relationship from one tag to another. But like Categories, Tags provide another means to aid your readers in accessing information on your blog.
  • Revisions: The Revisions module shows any backup copies of your post. Each time you click Save Draft or Update, a revision is saved. Revisions allow you to look back at the recent changes you’ve made and revert to an earlier version if necessary.
  • Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.
  • Private and password protected pages: Private content is published only for your eyes, or the eyes of only those with authorization permission levels to see private content. Normal users and visitors will not be aware of private content.
    • It will not appear in the article lists. If a visitor were to guess the URL for your private post, they would still not be able to see your content. You will only see the private content when you are logged into your WordPress blog.
    • Password Protected content is not immediately visible to the outside world. A visitor to your site must enter the password in the box in order to see the content of the post or Page.

Media

  • Adding Media: Add New screen–in the Media menu of Dashboard–allows you to upload new media to later use with posts and pages.
  • Inserting images into posts and pages: WordPress makes it easy to add images to your content. Images can be used in your pages or your posts directly.
  • Filling in Alternate text: In the simplest of examples, web users who have a visual impairment may use software that “speaks” page content to them. In this situation, they rely upon your help to “hear” your content – including any informative images.
    • Therefore, when you include a graphic or photograph, it may be appropriate to provide an alternative description in the alternate text field below the caption.
  • Featured images give you the option to display unique custom header images for specific posts and pages. This feature only works with themes that allow custom header images and have featured header images enabled

Links / Blogroll

  • Links: WordPress allows you to store a set of external links, also known as your blogroll. These links can be put into categories, imported, exported, added, deleted, and edited.

Themes

  • Themes: Fundamentally, the WordPress Theme system is a way to “skin” your weblog. Yet, it is more than just a “skin.” Skinning your site implies that only the design is changed. WordPress Themes can provide much more control over the look and presentation of the material on your website.
  • Widgets are WordPress Plugins that add visitor visual and interactivity options and features, such as sidebar widgets for post categories, tag clouds, navigation, search, etc.
  • Menus: Within the Dashboard for your site, go to the Appearance menu then click on Menus.
    • This enables a user to create custom navigation menu in place of or in conjunction with a theme’s default menu.

Plugins

  • Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.
    • e.g., Formidable Pro is a plugin for building and recording data from forms that can be activated through your site’s Dashboard. Click here for more information.

Advanced topics

  • Custom post types: WordPress can hold and display many different types of content.
  • Theme development: WordPress Themes are files that work together to create the design and functionality of a WordPress site. Each Theme may be different, offering many choices for site owners to instantly change their website look.
  • Advanced Image Settings (for WordPress v4.1+): Image settings changed with the January 1, 2015 update. The link is utilizing a plugin as a workaround for similar functionality found in previous versions.

Examples

  • College of Arts and Sciences: Hosted and built by CASIT.
    • Site that has three custom menus and widget areas for the news page.
    • Plugins: CASIT drop down navigation, Google Analytics for WordPress. Uses CASIT Department theme.
  • English: Hosted and built by CASIT.
    • Custom front page that displays news, events and books.
    • Plugins: CASIT drop-down navigation, CASIT Events, Books, Custom Post Type Archives in Nav Menus. CAS Profiles plugin for people that pulls data from CAS profile site. Uses CASIT base theme. Custom menu.
  • Ethnic Studies: Hosted and built by CASIT.
    • Plugins: Google Analytics for WordPress, Post Attachment Manager, Slideshow Gallery. Custom post type for people. Custom menu.
  • Latin American Studies: Hosted and built by CASIT. Custom front page that has two widget areas.
  • Tasty Firestorm: Hosted by UO Blogs; uses the Twenty Eleven theme.

References